Prophets saw God glorified in his Holy Name and handed prophecy down to the apostles, who saw God in Christ fulfilling prophecy in the unceasing prayer of the Holy Spirit in the saints, transmitting an unbroken tradition of hallowing glorification. The reign of grace is the reign of glory awakening seers to the vision of God, purifying, illumining and deifying saints in a living tradition of glorification. Prophets, apostles and saints are the living heart of Holy Orthodoxy, friends of God because God first befriended them. Bishops, priests and deacons hand on the rites and doctrines that sustain the ecclesial institutions of Christianity, but living apostolic succession is prophetic, handed on by elders and saints, who directly participate in the uncreated energies of God. The Church is called ‘apostolic’ because it partakes with the apostles in the vision and glorification of God, fulfilling prophecy in the unceasing prayer of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of glorified saints.
The Church is called ‘holy’ because it participates with the saints in the hallowing of God’s Holy Name, bearing witness to the reign of glory in the age to come. Saints welcome God’s Kingdom come by hallowing God’s Name, completing the holy will of God. God’s presence is always ‘now,’ timelessly welcoming the reign of glory ‘now,’ fulfilling past prophecy by awakening in God’s age to come right ‘now.’ Prophets, apostles and saints bear witness to God’s timeless presence in the present moment, which is not in time. Timeless glory awakens glorification by way of purification and illumination, which is the same mystery of glory for prophets as it is for apostles and saints. Orthodox tradition is fundamentally glorification grounded in purification and illumination, freeing it, in the Spirit, from all trace of narrow, orthodox fundamentalism.
The heart of Orthodox tradition is the vision of God that awakens glorification, sustaining God’s remembrance of God, through God: Holy Trinity. The real theologian is one who, like St Gregory the Theologian, partakes in the uncreated energies of wisdom and glory, or like Saint Simeon the New Theologian, sings ‘Hymns of Love,‘ out of direct experience of the uncreated energies of wisdom and glory. Holy wisdom sees God, through God, in God, partaking of Holy Trinity, awakening glorification which deifies saints. Trinitarian dogma and doctrine formulate this living experience in theological concepts, but the uncreated words of the Word, communicating direct revelation, are ineffable, infinitely transcending theological concepts. Prophets awaken to uncreated glory, handing on the remembrance of God to apostles, including elders who spiritually parent saints, which means the Patristic era has never ended but continues to regenerate saints right into our own times.